Florida Child Custody & Parenting Plans
In Florida, the courts require unmarried or divorcing parents to come up with a parenting plan when they have minor children under the age of 18. Parenting plans are documents that are broken up into several different areas and are as follows;
Parental Responsibility – Parental responsibility addresses each parent’s role in the decision making of their minor children including education, medical care and other major decisions in the child’s life. Shared parental responsibility is common and by agreement between the parties. Sole parental responsibility or ultimate decision-making authority can be court appointed if the parties are unable to agree via mediation. When not in agreement, the parties can seek relief from the courts to obtain ultimate decision-making authority. It is not something that is awarded frequently, but it can occur when there is a disagreement over significant matters relating to the minor child and the judge finds that awarding ultimate decision making authority is in the best interest of the minor child.
In the video below, Attorney Sanchez addresses parental responsibility, parenting plans and timesharing in Florida.
Timesharing – There are three different types of timesharing scenarios that you generally see in a parenting plan.
1. Ongoing time-sharing schedules refer to the day to day schedules with each parent
2. Holiday schedules – Generally alternating schedules
3. Summer schedules – Variety of schedules that can be by agreement between parties
50/50 timeshare schedules are not necessarily something that the courts will guarantee to grant the parties however, it is more prevalent in Hillsborough County. In most cases, it is beneficial and in the best interest of the children for the parties to agree on timesharing schedules. When it is not possible and the parties do not agree, after attempting to agree by going to mediation, the parties can seek relief from the court. The courts can grant one party with ultimate decision-making authority. Sole parental responsibility is not something that happens very often, but when there is a disagreement over significant matters regarding the minor child, or when the best interest of the child is in question, ultimate authority can be granted.
Modifying Parenting Plans
Once a parenting plan and custody is ordered, the courts retain jurisdiction and have authority over the enforcement and/or modification of timesharing and custody. There are times when modifying a parenting plan or timesharing order is necessary, yet it is beneficial to . In Florida, there must be a substantial change of circumstances to modify timesharing. In this case, if it’s possible, the parties should attempt to come up with an agreement that will be beneficial to both and to the minor children.
Contact Nilo J Sanchez & Associates
Questions about parenting plans, child custody and timesharing in Hillsborough, Pasco or Pinellas County? Please call (813) 879-4600 or leave a secure message below.